Living in a Travel Trailer or Pop-up Camper in the Woods

rvAbout a week ago a friend and I had a conversation about placing a travel trailer or a pop-up camper back in the woods on heavily tree covered property.

My response was not to do it unless you had a concise plan of action, was adequately supplied and had an alternate plan in place in case of problems, but he insisted it was ok to rush off in an instant and began to explain his premise and I mine – it went something like this.

Choosing a location:

Finding a boondocking location on Bureau of Land Management or US Forest Service can be easy but you’ll have company other with plans of doing the same thing and in times of strife and danger may not be advisable to have neighbors who can smell those burgers and hotdogs you put frozen into your Coleman cooler and are now cooking and see what preparations you have and they do not. You could get visitors after dark.

Undeveloped land can offer a boat load of challenges when you pull your towable whether a travel trailer or a pop-up camper.

  • First, you have to be able to navigate through often dense underbrush without damaging your towable. Often fallen trees, deep ruts, inclines and descents can present a problem. Travel trailers and pop-ups are not meant for off-road adventures.
  • Second, choosing a spot without overhanging branches that in a windstorm; may come crashing down on your towable and you.
  • Third, leveling that bad boy out on uneven ground is one hell of a task.
  • Fourth, keeping out the critters that will definitely come investigating and will introduce themselves to new strangers in the neighborhood.

So here goes nothing…

The first three are problems with solutions but not easy ones.

The fourth is a real dilemma as rodents will find burrowing into your undercarriage, into any opening they can find and setting up home will be exactly what they will do. Creepy crawlies too will come a callin’. Spiders, ants, termites and snakes love a shady place to nest too.

The next thing is getting water, the idea of purifying water and then pouring 5-gallons at a time into your fresh water holding tank is a monumental task and keeping two sources in large reusable 5-gallon sealed containers make sense, one for hygiene and one for fresh drinking water.

The hygiene part is what you have to pay particular attention to since you’ll be exposing yourself to dust, pollens, molds and a myriad of toxins and filth you’ll find in abundance in the wild. Keeping yourself and your home fresh and sanitary as is possible is no easy task.

I know the idea of sitting outside under your awning with a camp fire and your dinner sounds great but every flying, crawling blood drinking insect, flies and whatnot will be there to enjoy having you as a morsel too.

Living sans civilization is not to be taken lightly there are dangers you cannot perceive we will only touch lightly here.

Danger Will Robinson!!!

Not knowing the area you go to. Being unfamiliar with the region you are choosing can be a hazard.

In the northwest forests friends out for a hike and an overnight camping expedition stumbled on acres of marijuana being grown and were chased away by buckshot hitting near where they stood.

This is a typical example of not being familiar with your location.

Scout out several areas using Google Earth Pro and MapQuest so you have the route mapped and know exactly where you were going.

Look for areas where there are houses, determine the distances to the nearest dwellings and avoid them by at least a mile. People are naturally curious and if you’re close to where they live or near a road where you campfire may be seen they will come to see what you are doing there.

Getting to your Spot without Much Trouble

Getting into a remote camping spot may not seem like a huge effort but towing 5,ooo pounds on paved roads is one thing but going up a slope without a four wheel drive vehicle capable of hauling heavy loads and navigate rough terrain will leave you in a fine pickle.

A little tactical driving advice – when trying to get up an incline drive in a zig-zag pattern across the hilly terrain and back as you climb a little at a time you’ll find it easier and you won’t need to fear a breakdown or over heating your vehicle.

Finding the best location

pop-up-camperGetting to the site you chose proved a bit of a challenge but your there now how do you choose a spot to set up camp?

Find the most level spot you can, place your 12’ x 12” – ¾” plywood squares on the ground positioning them under your jacks and level your camper. This square will help stabilize and distribute your campers bulk without sinking into the ground like your jacks normally would.

Now you’re ready to start living as long as your supplies hold out then you’ll have to restock, hunt or fish to sustain yourself.

  1. Reply
    Robert May 27, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    As I read this article it brought attention to the bugs and wildlife that live in the Forest.
    My suggestion is for anyone who would want to train in a Bug Out Situation than you should consider this.
    Living in the Forest in a RV Trailer or Popup Camper is luxury compared to any reality of actually Bugging Out. Wildlife. …bugs….etc…are nothing compared to the true reasons as to your Bugging Out.
    I suggest taking the time to Bug Out carrying Vital Needs Only and spend at least a minimum of 48 hours…..with nature depending only on your surroundings. This will give You a much better understanding of What You Really Should be Doing.

    • Reply
      Derron Davis September 25, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Very true, and a great idea

    • Reply
      Boonie Hat Bob June 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Great idea! Everyone should plan out their bug out location, and camp there before the SHTF so you know what you’re getting yourself into

  2. Reply
    Makanch July 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

    perfect survival weonaps or pistols along with of course your survival food and survival water. Food Storage Supplies is also needed.One size does not fit all when it comes to looking at weonaps for survival. For

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